It’s difficult to know where to begin. The home stretch of the residency almost kills us all. At the first residency, I made connections and learned more than I can measure. I returned home a different writer.
This time around, those connections deepened and many more were established. We didn’t have the small-talk get-to-know-ya configurations to deal with. There were instantly more important things to consider: How was your semester working with so-and-so? How are you feeling about the essay semester? What did you think of the Graduate Readings? Or matters of craft: How does present tense limit memoir writers? In what ways does it serve them? How can we use the limits of form to create a space for the imagination to stretch in? Do the same principles of narrative apply in fiction as in nonfiction? When does the use of charged language enter the creative process for each genre? Each individual writer? During the generative phase? The gnosis and deep revision phase?
And even today, with graduation for the class of 11 happening at 6pm – we had two craft talks before lunchtime and student-advisor meetings happening right up to the last minute. Snow was predicted to fall on the pass again, frosting the Cascade Range and freezing up the coastline for yet another storm. Half the participants panicked, left early, planned ahead to try and make their 6am flights out of PDX on Tuesday morning.
Tomorrow the transition begins. First order of agenda: Sleep. Second: Contact friends and schedule the week. Third: Start the writing.
And a note to self for the next residency: The social seeds have been planted. They’ll grown now, almost on their own. So buckle down and write, write, write between events.[Kyle & his shirt fetish photo.]